Andre Drummond still has a lot to learn about playing in the NBA, which makes it amazing just how effective he is in without knowing things such as post moves, team defensive concepts and, of course, free throws.
And while Roy Hibbert, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard and others tend to dominate discussions of the best centers in the NBA, it's easy to make the case that Drummond is already there. And now one national writer is taking notice:
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN examined the early leaders for an All-Star nod (Insider), and placed Drummond in his starting front court in the East:
Drummond probably will get some love for Most Improved Player this season, but in reality his per-minute numbers are nearly identical to his rookie season. The difference? He's finally getting the run he deserves. He tops every East center in EWA, and he paces the league in field goal percentage as well as jaw drop percentage. Start the "Big Penguin" in the Big Easy.
A plug for Drummond starting in the All-Star game and a "Big Penguin" reference? I'm sold. In case anyone else needed some additional convincing, check out some of Drummond's eye-popping numbers.
So far this season, Drummond ranks:
|Category||NBA Rank||NBA Center Rank||East Center Rank|
|Points in Paint||6||4||2|
|Win Shares P48||12||3||2|
* Players who play at least 20 minutes per game
He's also posted some truly remarkable individual games:
Andre Drummond checks out with 31 pts, 19 reb and 6 stls, the first player to post those numbers in one game since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 1, 2013
Andre Drummond: 1st player with 18 Reb in 3 straight games this season and 1st Piston since Ben Wallace (9 straight) in March 2003.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 5, 2013
And remember, he is only 20 years old and his NBA skills are still in their infancy.